4D Man (1959) Poster


User Reviews

Add a Review
28 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Impressive classic from the 1950s.
Bruce Cook9 February 2004
Robert Lansing plays a scientist whose brother is trying to perfect a way to make solid objects pass through each other. Lansing finds out about his brother's radical concept and tries some experiments of his own. He succeeds so well that he takes the idea a step further: he makes himself pass through solid objects.

The process has an adverse affect on his mind, and he starts walking through the walls of banks at night, stealing the cash. Unfortunately, the use of his new power causes him to age rapidly, and the only way he can rejuvenate himself is to absorb life-energy by passing through another human being -- even though this kills the victim.

Robert Lansing's performance is quite good, and so are those of co-stars Lee Meriwether and Patty Duke (age 12). Robert Strauss ("Stalag 17", "The Seven Year Itch") is sadly miscast as an unscrupulous fellow scientist. Director Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr. created a good film on a meager budget, just as he did with "The Blob".

The special effects are impressive (and in color), devoid of any cheap "see-through" superimposed images. Whenever Lansing walks through a wall, he looks like he's stepping into an opaque liquid. Watch for an eerie scene in which Lansing walks slowly across a room towards an intended victim, passing through tables and chairs.
23 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Surprisingly effective little sci-fi'er
frankfob13 November 2002
Producer Jack Harris and director Irvin Yeaworth were responsible for two of the more off-the-wall sci-fi flicks of the '50s, "The Blob" and this one (they also did "Dinosaurus," but that's a whole other story). Both films appear to have been made around the same time, in 1957; while "The Blob" was released then, this picture, for some reason, wasn't put on the market until two years later. Actually, all things considered, I think it's a better film than "The Blob," although "The Blob" is actually more fun to watch. Lead actor Robert Lansing would at first glance seem to be an odd choice to star in a sci-fi movie; he was one of the more intense actors of his period, and you wouldn't think that his somewhat gruff demeanor and rugged, craggy looks would be the qualities you'd expect to find in an actor playing the lead in a sci-fi film; those parts were usually played by men who were more conventionally better looking than Lansing--and, frankly, younger. However, Harris and/or Yeaworth knew what they were doing when they cast him, as he fits this part to a tee; the coiled intensity he brought to all his roles really works here. His character is a basically good guy who lashes out when he discovers he's been betrayed (his ne'er-do-well brother steals his girlfriend) and in the process comes up with a scientific discovery that allows him to pass through solid matter. He also discovers that the side effects of this condition necessitate his draining the "energy" from others in order for him to survive. It's intriguing to watch Lansing's transformation from a decent if somewhat grouchy man to a homicidal, power-crazed "mutant"; where a sci-fi standby like John Agar would have either underplayed it or gone over the top, Lansing manages to strike just the right note, and really makes you pity, if not empathize with, the creature he's become.

Female lead Lee Merriwether has always been, in my opinion anyway, much underrated as an actress, being judged more for her status as a former Miss America than for her talent. However, she had a relaxed, naturalistic quality that many actresses with far more training and experience lacked, and I think it adds to the believability of the picture.

"The 4D Man" is no masterpiece, of course, but it's definitely one of the more intriguing, and thoughtful, sci-fi epics of the '50s. An interesting premise, very good special effects--considering the relatively low budget--solid performances and a much more adult tone than the usual '50s sci-fi flick make this a keeper. Check it out.
33 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The 4D Man, some of the neatest special effects ever.
Fiend-Without-a-Face12 April 2005
Wow, I searched for years to get this on DVD. I first saw it back in High School on one of those midnight horror shows in Australia (Deadly Earnest was the host...anyone from Australia remember him??).

I remember being obsessed with the walking through walls special effect, the way in which bits of his clothing would appear first, then the rest of him.

It's funny how a film can stay with you from childhood. The day I got the DVD, I was stoked. Not the greatest film ever made, but I am a die hard fan. I admit to being surprised by the score, very jazzy for such a dark story. I thought Robert Lansing and the rest of the cast were cool. They gave some considerable depth to what was after all very much a 'B' movie.

Check it out!
16 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
garyr_miller14 October 2004
I saw this movie when it first appeared in theaters. I was 12 years old and a fan of the ilk. However, the methods used for special effects in that era always seemed so obvious. This movie was a novel experience: I could not imagine how the effects were done. My only reservation was that they talked of slipping through the fourth dimension AND speeding up the natural process by which an object might slowly penetrate another. These are two different ideas. The second scenario accounts for the "horror" of the movie as people are rapidly aged. It was an unforgettable film. I would like to see it now and determine whether it holds up as well as my memory of it.
16 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Welcome to the 4th dimension
Chris Gaskin11 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I have just seen 4D Man for the second time and enjoyed it more than the first time I had seen it.

A scientist and his brother come up with a device that can make things go through anything. Things start to go wrong though and one of the brothers resorts to crime by simply walking and reaching through windows and walls. After stealing an apple from a grocer's and nearly stealing from a jewellery shop, he sees a bank and robs it. He then starts murdering people just by putting his hand through them. They age quick as they die. The 4D Man ages as the movie goes on. He is eventually tracked down by the police and disappears at the end. Through all this, his brother falls in love with his girlfriend.

The special effects are quite good for a low budget movie and the rather jazzy score is quite good, though unusual for this type of movie.

The movie stars Robert Lansing (Empire Of the Ants) as the 4D Man, Lee Meriwether as his girlfriend, James Congdon as his brother and a young Patty Duke.

4D Man is worth seeing if you get the chance. Excellent.

Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5.
13 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
With great power comes great responsibility!
Ryu_Darkwood21 September 2007
I'm always amazed to see a classic movie having the same ideas as modern day movies I thought to be original. This movie reminded me of '' Hollow Man '' by Paul Verhoeven ( but without the fancy special effects of our modern day ). It's the story of two brothers - one of them playful and charismatic, the other one strict and serious - finding themselves in a struggle over a woman. At a certain point one of them gets the ability to alter molecular substances, making him able to speed the aging process inside human beings and to walk through concrete walls. Yep, pretty handy to become a thug if you can do these things.

I liked it. It's another nice story about someone gaining a superpower and using it for his own benefit. Like so many other movies, this is about how we human beings are able to do horrible things in a situation in which we gain power. It's like Spiderman once said: with great power comes great responsibility.

It's a SF-movie from the fifties, so the special effects are nothing compared to what we're used to. If you're able to look past that, you can enjoy a pretty decent movie. Not a masterpiece, but enjoyable on its own accord.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
" Such Power cannot be kept by one man alone "
thinker169114 October 2008
Of all the films of actor Robert Lansing this film " The 4-D Man " is perhaps the least seen or appreciated. The story revolves around inventive scientist Dr. Scott Nelson (Robert Lansing) who is searching for something which can revitalize his nearly futile experiments with a new metal process. He discovers that his younger brother Dr. Tony Nelson (James Congdon) is also working with a fantastic invention which ventures into the realm of the incredible. At first, Scott is uninterested and disbelieving, until his brother shows him. Once aware of the possibilities, Scott steals the project and pushes it to the limits. However, the outcomes are totally unexpected as Scott is propelled into the world of the Forth Dimension with horrendous results. This is a solid movie and Lansing overwhelms the cast despite having Lee Meriwether, Robert Strauss and Edgar Stehli as Dr. Theodore W. Carson. Look carefully and you'll see a very young Patty Duke playing Marjorie Sutherland. Good fun for the Special Effects crowd. ***
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Let the 4D Man come through the wall for you.
Chuck Straub30 May 2004
I didn't have very high expectations for 4D man and when I started to watch it, the jazz music playing started to confirm my fears right at the start of the film. It really got the movie started off on the wrong foot. Other than the music, I must admit that it was a pretty good sci-fi movie. The acting was good, film quality good, very nice special effects and an unusual sci-fi plot. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that this movie was made in the mid 1960s and not 1959. It's my opinion that 4D Man is probably a little underrated as a 50s sci-fi, horror flick and should get more attention. Don't expect too much though. I wouldn't go as far as calling it a classic, but I think it's still a pretty good movie and is well worth watching. Let the 4D Man come through the wall for you. I don't think you will be disappointed.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Timely, absorbing, wildly inventive atomic age shocker noteworthy for the formidable presence and laudable, impressive characterization of Robert Lansing as the doomed and unwilling menace unleashed upon an
Jeffrey Talbot31 May 2000
With the development, denotation and proliferation of atomic weaponry and the expansion of nuclear plants after World War Two 1950s sci-fi motion pictures were quick to capitalize on these events utilizing the neotericness and general unfamiliarity of ongoing atomic research as a basis for story ideas. In these films atomic testing was responsible for the revival of long extinct dinosaurs (BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS and GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS), contact with nuclear radiation in a myriad of ways caused gigantic mutations in existing animal species (THEM!, TARANTULA, ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS and BEGINNING OF THE END) as well as in human beings (THE CYCLOPS, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN, ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST and THE 30 FOOT BRIDE OF CANDY ROCK) and in one instance exposure to a radioactive mist caused a man to dwindle to microscopic dimensions (THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN).

Atomic research obviously involved much more than the creation of more potent and lethal forces of destruction through nuclear fission and 4D MAN was one of a handful of 1950s sci-fi films to present movie audiences with some idea of just what went on in such scientific facilities touching upon other explorative aspects of quantum physics such as bombarding elements with subatomic particles and experimentation with intensified electromagnetic fields.

4D MAN was the second of three interesting projects produced by Jack H. Harris which included THE BLOB (1958) and DINOSAURUS! (1960) forming an imaginatively diverse and highly entertaining sci-fi trilogy. While not masterpieces of the genre these Jack H. Harris productions had the important distinction of being filmed in colour which was contrary to the trend of photographing the majority of sci-fi B-films of the period in black and white.

Much of this film's basic story structure can be traced to Lambert Hillyer's THE INVISIBLE RAY (1936) where Boris Karloff as Professor Janos Rukh becomes contaminated from being exposed to his discovery of the space-born element Radium X charging him with a fantastically deadly power (enabling Rukh to kill his scientist rivals by the mere touch of his hand) which steadily deteriorates his rational reasoning while also proving progressively fatal to him as well (this is kept in check by a periodic dosage of a temporary antidote).

Similarly Robert Lansing as physicist Scott Nelson in testing his younger brother's (Tony a renegade scientist of some disrepute) portable prototype contrivance in amplifying electromagnetic fields is able to move his hand through an impenetrable slab of metal. In successfully re-attempting the same feat within the force field again he discovers that the device has shorted-out yet he is now able to miraculously pass through any solid masses. Although not clearly delineated in the film his prior repeated exposure to the atomic furnace chambers in the development of a new dense alloy has caused an undetected mutation in Dr. Nelson's brain resulting in infinitely more intensified concentration faculties coupled with his also being affected by the experimental electromagnetic field now enabling Dr. Nelson to physically accelerate into the fourth dimension at will and whenever in this de-molecular condition he can freely walk through any physical barriers (walls, fences, doors, etc.). However while in this high velocity state Nelson also accelerates in age and by accident discovers he can only be restored to normalcy by draining the life energies of hapless victims resulting in a reign of terror until his eventual demise at the hands of his former scientist colleague-girlfriend in true "film noir" fashion by shooting Dr. Nelson (when not in his inter-dimensional form) as both are embraced in a passionate kiss.

The end is somewhat ambiguous as the apparently mortally wounded and dissipating Dr. Nelson (proclaiming himself "indestructible") retreats with some difficulty through a wall out-of-sight and the superimposed wording "The End" appears transforming into a visible question mark. This could imply a number of possibilities: A) Dr. Nelson died from the gunshot after disappearing into the wall remaining permanently embedded within it. B) Nelson could have successfully made his escape only to recover and return later to vengefully strike out at humanity anew. C) The artificially-induced fourth dimensional state could eventually be rediscovered and resurrected by some other researcher with similarly terrifying repercussions. D) What further unforeseen horrors is science on the brink of unleashing upon the world in the future?

Crucial to the plausibility and acceptance of this film's fantastic premise are convincing and competent special effects and the visuals employed in 4D MAN while all too sparse and fleeting are remarkably impressive nonetheless. Memorable is the scene where Dr. Nelson aimlessly strolls along a downtown street at night and mischievously applies his newly acquired powers by passing his hand through a mailbox removing a letter and properly replacing it through the slot (any solid object Nelson touches also de-solidifies), filching an apple through the front window of a produce store and similarly handling a diamond necklace on display in a jewellery shop. When Nelson pauses from his amusement and observes the darkened national bank across the street his smile betrays exactly what is on his mind (editing between the camera's point-of-view of the bank juxtaposed with the expression on Nelson's face wordlessly conveys his intention to make an unauthorized withdrawal). Sound is also utilized to considerable effect as a high-pitched electronic whine ominously signifies Dr. Nelson's transformation into the inter-dimensional entity. The age makeup of his victims whose life energies are absorbed by the desperate, deranged researcher is incredibly well handled indeed (particularly in the unintentional first murder of his physician friend where some cartoon animation is employed to dynamically accentuate the onslaught of rapid aging further making the effect all the more gruesome). With tremendous nightmarish impact the mummified corpses of his victims serve as a powerful testament to the frightening deadliness of this unstoppable and elusive killer on the prowl.

The late Robert Lansing was an curiously peculiar choice for the Jekyll-Hyde role but handily fulfilling the part's demands and his performance is an engaging, unique and refreshingly modernized interpretation of a stock horror film character. The actor's portrayal is as much a visual conception as it is a dramatic one which warrants a constant, studied scrutiny (witness how he perpetually has a lighted cigarette in hand and cleverly integrates his own habitual chain-smoking into his portrayal of Dr. Nelson). Through a facial expression, body movement or a hand gesture Mr. Lansing can convey his innermost thoughts, attitudes and feelings without the utterance of a single word a facility suitably appropriate for the visual demands of the cinema. Mr. Lansing also possessed a wonderfully expressive voice well capable of adroit, incisive delivery of dialogue when required so much so that the actor was recruited to handle the story's opening narration chores. For contrast the actor deliberately underplays his part so that his confrontational scenes where impassioned emotionalism is displayed (his frustration and anger exhibited over co-worker Linda's rejection of both his marriage proposal and pathetic amorous advances toward her, his pent up resentment directed against his callously exploitive and crassly unappreciative superior) noticeably stand out and make a stronger impression. Unfortunately in his film work Mr. Lansing was rarely involved with science fiction his most notable efforts being in television segments such as THE TWILIGHT ZONE (the unforgettable "The Long Morrow") and STAR TREK (the proposed spinoff pilot "Assignment Earth") and his was an enigmatic and charismatic personality which should have been utilized much more in the genre.

There is a matter of chronology regarding just when 4D MAN was actually filmed. In a minor part is the then child actress Patty Duke still years ahead of her academy award performance as a young Helen Keller in Arthur Penn's THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962) and as the teen-star of her own popular television series THE PATTY DUKE SHOW (1963-66). As Marjorie the daughter of Lee Meriwether's "landlady" Miss Duke appears to be between eight to ten years of age however 4D MAN was theatrically released on October 1959 and the budding young actress was thirteen years old at that time. Speculation would suggest that this Jack H. Harris production was clearly filmed a few years prior to its actual release (probably made in tandem with Mr. Harris's first sci-fi project THE BLOB which was filmed in 1957 and 4D MAN was originally intended as its co-feature) but for some undetermined reasons its premier would be postponed until Universal-International Pictures finally distributed the apparently shelved film in late 1959.

Most reviewers of 4D MAN seem unanimous in their dissatisfaction with film composer Ralph Carmichael's brash and vibrant jazz score having been utilized in a film of this nature however considering the time period (the late l950s) this energetic and rambunctious music is cannily suited to the more contemporary setting nicely expressing the strong underlying emotions, tensions and conflicts of the characters as well as accentuating the thrills and excitement of the action. Mr. Carmichael's jazz music appropriately imbues the events with the gritty texture of a police manhunt-dragnet drama and in contrast to the more conventional symphonic orchestrations employed for the majority of sci-fi movies at the time the traditional scoring seems rather trite and overly melodramatic by comparison. It's curious that a soundtrack album wasn't issued in conjunction with the film's release for aficionados of this brand of music. Mr. Carmichael was also responsible for the background music in Jack H. Harris's other sci-fi production THE BLOB.

Although certainly not the first, 4D MAN was reflective of a marked tendency in the late 1950s toward an increased sophistication and relevancy in themes and concepts advanced and explored in sci-fi films a trend which would be followed through well into the next decade. With tremendous strides made in technology, scientific research and the then fledgling space program the onus and challenge was now on for film makers to seek out new and different avenues for story ideas to reach a far more demanding and knowledgeable audience. Through efforts such as 4D MAN these imaginative craftsmen succeeded quite admirably.
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Journey Into the Nascent of Atomic Age Science Fiction !
cshep12 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Take a trip into the 1950's,when Mind over Matter Tony Nelson(Robert Lansing) overcomes the limits of the 3rd Dimension, and transforms into the 4D-Man ! What a Hoot ! Scott Nelson(James Congdon)Tony's younger brother, creates a device, with the possibility of passing solid objects through solid matter, without destruction to the materials. His brother, Tony , advances the project ,and becomes affected by the process, and is able to become 4th Dimensional at will, with of course , nasty results.

Scientist Linda Davis(Lee Merriwether), her first film role, is co-worker to the Nelsons, and is the mutual love interest to the brothers.

Filmed in Color, visionary Director Irvin S. Yeaworth . Jr., Writer Jack H. Harris, Screenplay Theodore Simonson, all blend together to put forth a worthy and entertaining project, strictly 1950's, including the background lounge music , fits the mood , perfectly !

Being 4th Dimenional has its drawbacks, it requires terrific amounts of energy, and it shows. Timely special effects, and moody and eerie settings highlight this little gem sci-fi suspense thriller.

Purely hedonistic, I think you''ll REALLY enjoy this film, and it's look at the possibilities of Future Science. I gave it an 8 out of 10 !

Look for a very young Patty Duke. the little girl on the street.

Robert Lansing is Terrific ! Runs about 85 minutes.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4D MAN (Irwin S. Yeaworth, Jr., 1959) **1/2
MARIO GAUCI23 January 2010
The second Jack H. Harris-Irwin S. Yeaworth collaboration is a more cerebral effort (being an outright sci-fi piece) than its more famous predecessor THE BLOB (1958). Typically for the genre, it deals with a scientist becoming accidentally endowed with some form of superhuman ability (in this case, passing through solids) – the downside to this is that he ages every time this feat is accomplished…but, then, coming to contact with other people, he is able to sap their energy and bring about his own rejuvenation! Robert Lansing – whom I fondly recall from the TV series AUTOMAN (1983-84) that I used to watch during childhood – is adequate in the title role but his brash younger brother (who is actually the catalyst for the transformation) is less likable; as a result, while Lee Meriwether makes for a lovely conflicted heroine (being engaged to Lansing but falling for his younger sibling), their budding relationship sorely feels like a plot contrivance. Besides, Robert Strauss is cast against type as a scientist who is not above appropriating a colleague's work for his own advancement. Even though boasting variable effects (particularly the aging make-up) and ending somewhat inconclusively, the film remains an eminently watchable and thought-provoking piece that should please fans of the genre and the era which spawned it.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
mord3914 February 2001
MORD39 RATING: **1/2 of ****

Ah, the good old days! This is one interesting and involving sci-fi film. The jazz music does indeed seem out of place in a film of this type, yet after a while it made me think how different it made the film feel in the long run.

Does anyone else think that Lee Meriwether looked even better when she got older? I call it the "Ann-Margret Syndrome".
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
different but not entirely compelling
funkyfry26 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, I've read about this movie in interviews with the director and so forth for years but this was my first viewing, by way of streaming media I suppose you'd call it. It's an interesting film, very different and somewhat less sensational than most monster/horror films. The monster in this case is similar in a lot of ways to the Invisible Man of the Universal series, in that he is a scientist who through too much enthusiasm turns himself into a menace to society. Most of the running time is not about the special effects and the horror but rather the melodrama involving the 2 brothers, both doctors, and the one woman they both love. She comes off as a bit of a you-know-what because she is basically the more aggressive partner, and the younger brother is set up in the first part to be more unlikeable but ends up being more or less the hero. So there's a bit of an interesting structure to the narrative, kind of a bait-and-switch going on.

There's one really effective horror sequence, when Dr. Scott Nelson (Robert Lansing) shows up with his new superpowers to perhaps seduce or kill the woman, Linda Davis (Lee Meriwether). The sequence begins with him stalking into her room silently, then she wakes up with a start as she sees him. He tries to kiss her, which we know might take her life force away from her, and then the camera follows ans she runs down the hallway and to the front door, opening it to find.... Dr. Nelson standing in the doorway. Very effective way to use the gimmick of his being able to go through walls, which in most other places in the film is simply used as an effect and not a scare tactic.

I'm a big fan of Yeaworth's "The Blob" but other than the sequence I just mentioned there's not enough of the kind of visual distinction that his more famous film has. Also Lansing and James Congdon are not as effective as Steve McQueen was in "Blob" -- I suppose expecting an actor like that to show up for every Yeaworth/Harris film would be like lightning hitting the same place twice. Lansing does a pretty good job in his role but his face and his manner are a bit too much like Robert Stack. Likewise Congdon is kind of a working man's James Garner, but he performs better in my opinion than Lansing, doing a bit more with a somewhat more interesting character.

The effects are OK, none of them I think were really all that revolutionary or anything. I do like the production values in this film which are similar to "The Blob" -- somewhat minimalist but in a way that enhances the sterile scientific mood of much of the film.

A curiosity but probably not a film that should ever be thought of as a classic. For better films of this type take a look at the original "Invisible Man" by James Whale and Jack Arnold's "Incredible Shrinking Man" written by Richard Matheson.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Out of the ordinary 50's SciFi
rilke22 October 1999
I have to admit that this movie had escaped my attention even though I'm a fan of 50's and 60's SciFi films. I disagree with the other comment here about inappropriate music. I feel the music as well as the look of the film add to the uniqueness of the effort. My only question is if Congdon's head (Tony Nelson character) is as huge in real life as it appears in some shots in the movie. There's a scene towards the end where Congdon is facing the viewer and Lee Meriwhether's character is facing him (her back is to the viewer). When I first saw this shot, I could've of sworn his image was being projected on a drive-in theater screen since Meriwhether looked disproportionate in front of him. A hilarious shot.
3 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great film--rotten soundtrack
MartinHafer9 July 2008
4-D man starts off very poorly, as the opening music sound like it was written for a 1950s strip club. Unfortunately, while it did get a bit better, it still was brash, loud and cheap and often seemed like music designed for a beatnik coffee house--not a sci-fi film. Additionally, the film features a romance that just isn't believable--happening almost instantly and making very little sense. This was less annoying than the music--more of a minor problem. However, despite having these two strikes against it, the film manages to still be a dandy sci-fi film--partly because it was NOT about some bug-eyed monsters or aliens.

The film begins with a young researcher (James Congdon) getting fired. He hitchhikes to the lab where his brother (Robert Lansing) is in charge of a team working on a new impervious metal. However, the younger brother says that he's been working on a matter amplifier that will allow ANYTHING to be permeated. Later, when Lansing is playing with Congdon's machinery, he manages to pass his hand through a block of metal--in a rather terrifying scene. Oddly, soon after this, Lansing finds he's able to continue passing through objects even without using the electronic equipment--just his own will! Naturally, being a 50s sci-fi film, this power turns out to be far greater and difficult to control than they'd imagine--leading to deadly consequences! The plot is interesting (and rather reminiscent of THE INVISIBLE MAN), the special effects pretty good for 1959 and the story was unique. I liked it a lot--too bad it was given such annoying and funky music--it deserved MUCH better.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Decent 50s b-movie sci fi
wwc-johnb13 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I agree with nearly every review that the jazz music is out of place. This movie needs something more like a theramin to give it an eerie feel. But, I think we need to remember that jazz was just busting out in 1959 and everyone was tapping into it.

The premise of the movie is very good and it starts with a nice feel. The lonely scientist working on a shoestring to pull off his idea. It works, but can he replicate it and what will be the human cost? Special effects are decent for a low-budgeter. Lansing's descent into madness, evil, call it what you will is well done. Acting is otherwise so, so, although it is nice to see Bob Strauss as something other than a convict or gangster.

The most disappointing aspect of the picture is the triangle between Tony, Linda, and Scott. At the beginning, it is clear to everyone (Linda and Tony included) that she is Scott's girl. Yet, within days she is shamelessly flirting with Tony. There is one scene at the beach and by the merry-go-round where she does everything but have sex with Tony in front of Scott. But when Scott walks off defeated, she says "What's with him?" The brother answers "I'm not sure." They are either stupid, insensitive, or both. Either way, their characters are not very sympathetic because of this.

Anyway, worth catching on Turner or Grit or This. Took me back to my younger days watching the Ghoul in Detroit.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Dr Scott Nelson walks through solid objects and kills with his touch
snicewanger26 September 2015
4D Man is a very entertaining Sci Fi thriller that utilizes the talents of actor Robert Lansing to their fullest extent. He strikes the right cord as Dr Scott Nelson. Using the research gathered by his brother Dr Tony Nelson, and the data he has gathered through his own work Nelson discovers a method of projecting himself into a fourth dimensional state which allows him to pass through solid objects. The downside is that each projection he attempts causes his body to age very rapidly. He then discovers that with his touch he can absorb the life energy of other living creatures which will renew his own life force and restore his youth. This has the added effect of killing those whose energy he has drained.

The old adage that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes through as Nelson allows his pent up frustrations to surface and he uses his powers to rob, and take revenge on those who feels have wronged him.He eventually is able to project himself through shear force of will. When he finds that his fiancé and his brother have fallen in love with each other and have gone to the authorities about him, he targets them both for death.

4D Man has an interesting and unusual premise for a science fiction film. Irvin S Yeaworth Jr directed and did a first rate job of making an absorbing and tightly wound story. Lansing was a low key actor who generally underplayed his scenes. While it didn't not always work, it's the right method for Dr Scott Nelson in this story.Good special effects also help. Sci Fi fans and fantasy buffs will enjoy and appreciate 4D Man.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Decent story and special effects; weird soundtrack
hmnwilson7 June 2014
Watched this movie recently and overall it was better than I expected. The general storyline and acting was quite good and the special effects - e.g., walking through solids - were actually pretty decent. Robert Lansing and Lee Meriwether were pretty good especially considering this was their first film. The other actors were OK.

However there were a number of shortcomings and unintentional funny moments: 1) The soundtrack was totally over the top. Very 'hip' beatnik jazz orchestration with bongos etc. This cartoonish music often played during some of the tenser moments of the film, effectively ruining the suspense. 2) The sibling rivalry subplot at the beginning of the movie was really unnecessary. It was probably added to heighten the drama and give the characters more depth, but in the end it was all rather pointless. 3) The funniest moment of the film occurred when 'Tony' was working on his fourth dimension theory at the restaurant table. When the camera showed his notebook, instead of mathematical calculations or a scientific diagram, it was simply a sketch of a block of metal with a pencil going through it. It was like something straight out of a Leslie Nielsen movie.

Overall, it is an OK movie and worth watching if you enjoy old sci-fi movies. It won't change your life, but you won't regret watching it either.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Flawed, but still enjoyable.
Scott LeBrun28 March 2014
Producer Jack H. Harris, screenwriter Theodore Simonson, and director Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr. re-teamed for this sci-fi effort after the far more popular (and more fun) "The Blob". This viewer just didn't have as much fun with this as he would have liked given the nifty premise of this feature. Unfortunately, the pacing is a little sluggish at first, with too much time devoted to the romantic subplot of the story. But right around the halfway point, things start cooking, with more action taking place. The visual effects here are actually pretty good for the time when this was made, and the body count is fairly high. There has to a debit, however, for the persistent, overbearing jazz score (by Ralph Carmichael) which does work on occasion, but doesn't, for the most part.

Sharp featured and intense leading man Robert Lansing plays Dr. Scott Nelson, a scientist who's developed this supposedly impregnable metal which gets dubbed cargonite. His brother is another scientist, Tony Nelson (James Congdon), whose own obsession has paid off: he's figured out how to have matter occupying the same space at the same time, and pass objects through one another - including the cargonite. The Nelsons experiment together only to find that Scott can now pass *himself* through various things. Scott finds some pleasure from his newfound ability, but there are side effects - there have to be side effects in a story like this - Scott is getting progressively more insane and now rapidly ageing, and has to make physical contact with other living things to temporarily regain his youth.

Lovely Miss America winner Lee Meriwether ('Batman', 'Barnaby Jones') is the lady who comes between the brothers; Robert Strauss, Edgar Stehli, and a very young Patty Duke are also among the cast in this amusing bit of escapism with some good moments. Lansing does a solid job in the lead; you do feel for him when Meriwether, whom he wants to marry, shows more interest in Congdon, and although you know he needs to be stopped when he goes on the inevitable rampage, he's not quite a simple one-dimensional villain.

"4D Man" is no classic, but is entertaining enough for 85 minutes.

Seven out of 10.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Memorable and scary
oscar-3520 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
*Spoiler/plot- 4D(Dimension) Man, 1959. Two estranged brothers (both brilliant molecular scientists) have an unexpected reunion at the older brothers current employer's scientific research facility. The friendly family reunion is extremely strained by scientific, work, and future career plans disagreements between them. And, the younger brother and the other brother's fiancée are becoming romantically involved. Resentment becomes a real issue between them. Through an lab experiment accident, the older brother discovers (due to his painful high brain activity and constant radioactive exposure), he now can penetrate any container with his body at will. The danger is that he ages due to this new ability. He finds he must renew his life force by touching persons and causing their deaths by extreme old age. He turns on his egotistical boss, the police, the local town citizenry, the local bank, and finally his estranged fiancée & brother.

*Special Stars- Robert Lansing, Lee Mariwether, James Congdon, Robert Strauss, Patty Duke.

*Theme- Nature often balances everything in it.

*Trivia/location/goofs- Color, This film is notable for a very 'hip', scene overpowering jazz soundtrack. Watch for Robert Lansing's "Marlon Bando" brooding method of acting and this was his film debut. Very early film appearance for beauty contest winner Lee Meriwether(her debut) and child actress, Patty Duke. During the rainstorm, watch for a microphone on the right of the door as they enter the ruined building to get out of the rain. The folks that made profits on 'The Blob' (a year before) also made this film.

*Emotion- This film is very stylized, especially with the coffee house jazz score that opens the film and is played through the best scenes in this film. Also this film is the debut of many actors that would go on to become major TV stars in the following decades. The casting, plot and idea is very unique, so this film gets high marks for me. It is memorable and scary....so it is a first rate film.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ne twist on an old plot
ctomvelu128 September 2012
Creative reworking of "The Invisible Man" stars Robert Lansing as a scientist utilizing his younger brother's invention (a box and some wires) to make himself permeable. That is to say, he is able to pass through solid objects, such as walls and doors. Not surprisingly, he begins robbing banks. I would, too. But he doesn't count on the horrible aging effect each effort costs him, so he starts absorbing energy from people, killing them in the process. He also doesn't count on his transformation driving him mad. The cops can't seem to stop him, and the hunt is on to corner him and find a way to kill him. The special effects still look pretty good, Lansing is credible as the "monster" and a young and pretty Lee Merriwether is his love interest. For you younger viewers out there, try watching the Claude Rains version of "The Invisible Man" back to back with this.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
You better shoot to kill this guy's a wild one!
sol3 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** It's when nuclear physics expert Dr. Scott Nelson's,Robert Lansing, kid brother Tony,James Congdon,showed up looking for job at his place of business, The Fairview Research Center, Scott's colleague Roy Parker, Robert Strauss,just about had enough of being treated like a second rated chemical mixer by the head of the entire operation Dr. Ted Carson, Edger Stehli. It was bad enough that Parker lived in the shadows of big brother Robert's achievements at the research center but now, the "great man" that he is, he's to play second fiddle to kid brother Tony as well.

As for the fatherly looking Dr. Carson he treated everyone,in him being the egomaniac that he is, like garbage in taking all the credit for what the center put or cranked out over the years getting all kinds of awards and accolades that he really didn't deserve. Including credit for this indestructible medal that the filled with self importance Dr.Carson named, after himself called Cargonite. Which in fact Robert was the one who invented it! It's when Tony showed up that he brought with him the blueprint for this super amplifier that can turn solid objects,like Cargonite, into a 4th dimensional state and have them able to be penetrated with as with something as brittle as a wooden pencil. That's by changing their molecular structure, with his super amplifier, where two atoms can actually be able to occupy the same place at one time.

It's in fact Robert who at first thought that brother Tony was a bit off his rocker in thinking that two atoms can be in the same place at the same time without changing the laws of modern psychs who found that out the hard way by him being, with his hand going through a hunk of steel, the one to do it. While Robert was experimenting with his hand through solid steel act Parker snuck into the lab and stole Tony's blueprints.The sneaky and full of himself Parker then ran off, as if his pants caught fire, to Dr. Carson's house bragging that he's the person,not the Nelson Brothers, who single handedly discovered the mysteries about the mysteries of the 4th dimension and how to manipulate them! Were also given a more or less half hearted or baked love triangle with Robert's squeeze or girl Linda Davis, Robert's assistant at the research center, played by former Miss America 1955 Lee Meriwether getting it on with younger brother Tony since Robert is so buried in his work that he never has time for her.

It's when Robert by being exposed to large dose of radiation as well as Tony's super amplifier is able to become 4 dimensional, and walk through solid objects, that his whole outlook on life changes drastically. Becoming a master bank robber Robert uses the money he steals,by waking in and out of bank vault's, to live it up and party since he couldn't afford to do that on the crummy salary,which was peanuts, that cheapskate Dr.Carson paid him.

***SPOILERS*** It's later when Robert realized that his life was slowly ebbing away every time he used his 4th dimensional powers, like walking through walls and bank safes,that he went on a murder spree, with both Dr.Carson & Parker being two of his victims,in order to regenerate his body with his victims life force to keep from dying. With what looked like an unstoppable Robert on the verge of killing off the entire cast in the movie it's Linda, by blasting him when he wasn't looking, who finally puts and end to his one man reign of terror. It ,putting Robert out of commission, was a dirty job but someone had to do it before any one else ended up dead, with Robert sucking the life force out of them, before his or her time. And as things turns out it was the one person, his former girlfriend Linda Davis, who really loved him and whom Robert didn't want dead that ended up finally doing the wild and crazy guy in!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The $1.000.000 Mystery
jimben200019 August 2001
Does anybody know of a publicity gimmick associated with this film which offered a million dollar reward to anyone who could duplicate -in reality- the feats of the 4D Man? I recall seeing such an advertisement many years ago in an old magazine which sticks in my memory because it purported that the feats WERE scientifically possible. Anybody out there know what I'm talking about?
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not only does he share a name with Jeannie's master, but Helen Keller appears!
Lee Eisenberg14 December 2006
Ah, the '50s. When we could always find a cool sci-fi flick in the local cinema. Whether it was "Them!", "Godzilla" or "Forbidden Planet", there was no shortage of neat movies (never mind that they usually starred really hot women). And we had the Cold War to thank. One of the lesser known flicks is "4D Man", in which some scientists (Robert Lansing and James Congdon) break down people's molecular structures and make it possible for them to walk through walls.

Totally outlandish, you say? Well, what do you expect from these sorts of movies?! I, for one, don't like it one bit when stuffy jerks say that all movies should be the "important" kind. This flick is pure entertainment, and doesn't pretend to be anything else; if anything, it's proud of being pure entertainment (and justifiably so).

And then, there's the end. Maybe it's showing that we can't always be sure of how certain things will turn out in life. Or maybe they came up with the end for no discernible reason. I don't actually know.

But anyway, this is a really cool movie. It makes one long for that era. Also starring Robert Strauss and a very young Patty Duke (happy 60th, Patty!).
2 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews